I’m not totally sure who the authority is on proclaiming food holidays (pizza actually has about ten ‘national’ days each year), but according to Google, February 9th is National Pizza Pie Day.
In honor of this celebration, and the improvements in Austin’s pizza landscape in the last few years, I decided to compile list of my ten favorite places to get a pie in Austin.
Here it is, in no particular order:
1. East Side Pies – If there was an award for the thinnest crust in Austin, these guys might take the cake- err pie? They offer several different options on sauce that are seriously worth exploring; try the Fast Pie with spinach curry sauce, sausage & feta, or The Nacho with black bean ‘sauce,’ chicken, red onions, cherry tomatoes & jalapenos. I know it’s hard to go this far off the beaten path with a pizza, but trust me on these suggestions.
Their traditional red sauce is also delicious; top it with their oversized pepperonis and your other typical favorites. You won’t be disappointed.
2. Home Slice Pizza – Definitely the most famous pizza joint in Austin, and for good reason. This is definitely my top recommendation for out-of-towners; the pizza is fantastic, and the location on South Congress is something anyone who visits Austin should experience. They also opened More Home Slice next door, so you don’t have to wait for hours to get a slice (or whole pie) on busy nights anymore.
3. Via 313 – I’m not traditionally a fan of deep-dish, but these guys have created something special. For around twelve bucks you get a super thick rectangle pizza that’s about two-inches thick. The sauce is possibly my favorite in town, and they pour a healthy amount of it over the top of the pizza after it’s cooked.
An interesting fact about this place; while there are vast differences in opinion on what constitutes a ‘good’ pizza, I’ve never taken anyone here that wasn’t absolutely blown away by it. Try the location behind Craft Pride on Rainey Street and grab a good local beer to help wash it down.
4. Bufalina Pizza – This place just opened last year and due to that fact, and their limited hours of operation, this isn’t a place to go if you’re in a hurry. But damn, do they make some delicious pizza.
They imported a wood-fire oven from Italy to create some of the best Neapolitan-style pizza in town. Flour, olive oil and other key ingredients are also imported from the region, and that extra attention to detail really shines through, both in the sauce and the perfectly airy, chewy (and somehow crispy at the same time) crust.
5. Cajun Pizza Place – When I was kid, I absolutely loved thin-crust pizza from Pizza Hut. Possibly due to the lack of a developed palate, but I also think it’s safe to say that Pizza Hut has continued to cheapen their product over the years into the slop that it is today. Cajun Pizza Place offers something similar in concept to that pizza I enjoyed as a child, but of MUCH higher quality.
I originally tried this pizza on a road trip at a place called Pizza Village in Lafayette, LA. The story goes that one of the long-time workers from Pizza Village moved to Austin and started this new venture in 2009. Trust me when I say that it’s just as good as the original.
6. Backspace – I suppose I should include a disclaimer that I was a huge fan of Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s adjoining restaurant Parkside before this place even opened its doors. Like Bufalina, they too offer Neapolitan pizzas from a wood-burning oven, with a huge focus on locally sourced ingredients.
I definitely recommend making reservations, and whatever pizza you decide on, be sure to “put an egg on it.”
7. Hoboken Pie – What sets Hoboken apart for me is the sheer variety of toppings they offer. The ‘Jersey–style’ pizza was at one point my personal favorite. I also once ran into French pop star, Yelle there after I fell in love with her at a FFF Fest performance in Waterloo Park. It will always have a special place in my heart.
I highly recommend the Torres, a white pie with bacon, spinach, Anjou pear, sundried tomato & gorgonzola. Oh, and for those of you who think Roppolo’s should be on this list? It’s just because you’ve only eaten there after pounding drinks on Sixth Street- wander around the corner and give Hoboken a try.
8. Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. – Austin Beer Garden and Brewing Co. FINALLY opened their doors last year after months of local anticipation. Better known for their homemade craft brews and laid-back atmosphere, the pizza is also spectacular.
The only pizza I’ve tried is a basic cheese and pepperoni (if we’re being honest, it was actually an extra slice from the couple sitting next to me), but paired with their Superliner IPA, you won’t find a better pizza/beer combo in the city.
9. Little Deli – No bells and whistles here, just good ol’ fashion New York style pizza. Finding the place is half the battle; it sits in a small shopping area tucked into a neighborhood in North Austin.
The sandwiches here are just as good as the pizza. Go hungry and try half a sandwich and a slice to experience all they have to offer in one trip.
10. Second Bar + Kitchen: This place made the list on the strength of just one of their pizza offerings, The Black and Bleu. It’s a small pizza with black truffle oil, bleu cheese, pork belly, medjool dates & red onion. It is the truth. Try it with the pepperoni soup (you read that right), and one of their craft cocktails.
Two notable places that aren’t on this list purely because they aren’t technically in Austin:
Pieous (in Dripping Springs)
Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza (located at Jester King Brewery)